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  • Jun
    04

    Kerry Leibowitz - Chicks Dig the Longball

    Written by Kerry Leibowitz

    Chicks (of the Oriole and Blue Jay Variety) Apparently Dig the Longball

     

    Here’s the view from 30,000 feet:  the Orioles have hit more home runs than any other team in the American League.  In fact, with 81 home runs in 57 games (1.42 HR/G), they’re well ahead of the #2 team (Toronto—72 in 57 games).  That’s great.

     

    The downside?  The Orioles have also allowed more home runs than any other team in the American League:  78 in 57 games (1.37 per game).  Again, the Blue Jays are second, having allowed 75 home runs in 57 games.

     

    Given that the same two teams rank first and second in both home runs hit and allowed, I couldn’t help but wonder how much this was a case of ballpark effects run amok, so I decided to find out.  This is a quick and dirty analysis.  I used games—rather than plate appearances or innings pitched—as the foundation simply because it was a lot easier and any adjustments that would be made as a result of using a more accurate base measure would be very modest (i.e. not worth the trouble).  Also, since we’re only a bit past the 1/3 mark in the season, there are plenty of ballparks that each team hasn’t visited yet.  And finally, there’s the simple small sample size factor.  There’s no doubt in my mind that some of what we’re seeing here is noise.  But some of what we’re seeing surely isn’t.

     

    AL HOME RUN DATA, COMPLETE THROUGH JUNE 2. 2013

     

    TEAM

    G@H

    G on R

    Tot G

    HR H

    HR R

    TotHR

    HRA H

    HRA R

    Tot HRA

    Tot HR H

    Tot HR R

    HR per H G

    HR per R G

    HR Index

    Baltimore

    28

    29

    57

    38

    43

    81

    48

    30

    78

    86

    73

    3.07

    2.52

    1.22

    Boston

    29

    29

    58

    26

    36

    62

    31

    27

    58

    57

    63

    1.97

    2.17

    0.90

    Chicago

    24

    30

    54

    26

    26

    52

    17

    31

    48

    43

    57

    1.79

    1.90

    0.94

    Cleveland

    30

    26

    56

    42

    27

    69

    38

    29

    67

    80

    56

    2.67

    2.15

    1.24

    Detroit

    26

    29

    55

    29

    33

    62

    14

    23

    37

    43

    56

    1.65

    1.93

    0.86

    Houston

    30

    27

    57

    34

    25

    59

    50

    29

    79

    84

    54

    2.80

    2.00

    1.40

    Kansas City

    24

    30

    54

    11

    18

    29

    32

    34

    66

    43

    52

    1.79

    1.73

    1.03

    Los Angeles

    30

    27

    57

    27

    36

    63

    31

    26

    57

    58

    62

    1.93

    2.30

    0.84

    Minnesota

    27

    27

    54

    24

    26

    50

    23

    34

    57

    47

    60

    1.74

    2.22

    0.78

    New York

    29

    27

    56

    30

    33

    63

    32

    29

    61

    62

    62

    2.14

    2.30

    0.93

    Oakland

    28

    30

    58

    19

    34

    53

    31

    31

    62

    50

    65

    1.79

    2.17

    0.82

    Seattle

    25

    32

    57

    24

    44

    68

    27

    43

    70

    51

    87

    2.04

    2.72

    0.75

    Tampa Bay

    27

    29

    56

    25

    38

    63

    32

    33

    65

    57

    71

    2.11

    2.45

    0.86

    Texas

    26

    30

    56

    37

    32

    69

    20

    26

    46

    57

    58

    2.19

    1.93

    1.13

    Toronto

    30

    27

    57

    38

    34

    72

    53

    22

    75

    91

    56

    3.03

    2.07

    1.46

    Tot/Avg

         

    430

    485

    915

    479

    447

    926

    909

    932

    2.18

    2.17

    1.00

     

    G = Games

    H = Home

    R = Road

    HRA = Home Runs Allowed

     

     

    As you can see both Camden Yards and Rogers Centre spec out as among the best HR parks in the American League.  In fact, Rogers Centre is the best so far this season.  OPCY is fourth, just a hair behind Cleveland.

     

    But dip into the team-by-team numbers a bit and you’ll find something interesting.  What’s accounting for all of the oomph in the OPCY and Rogers Centre HR index is the number of home runs that the home teams are allowing in their home parks.  The Orioles have actually hit more home runs on the road (43 in 29 games) than they have at home (38 in 28 games).  The pitching staff, however, has allowed 18 more home runs at home (1.71 per game) than on the road (1.07) despite playing one less game in Camden Yards than in road parks.

     

    The Jays tell a similar story, having hit 38 home runs in 30 home games and 34 in 27 road games.  But the Toronto pitching staff has surrendered 53 home runs at home (1.77 per game) and just 22 on the road (0.81).

     

    Things that make you go hmmmmm….


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